The Budget and Universal Credit – important information for landlords.

HM Treasury

If you missed it – there was an important change on Universal Credit in last week’s budget. This was to deal with concerns about how people would cope financially while waiting for their initial Universal Credit claim to be paid. This is important for landlords who might be worried about how budgeting issues in this period would affect rent arrears.

The text below has been taken straight from ‘’ so it’s as official as you can get …

“Households in need who qualify for Universal Credit will be able to access a month’s worth of support within five days, via an interest-free advance, from January 2018. This can be repaid over 12 months. Claimants will be eligible for Universal Credit from the day they apply, rather than after seven days. Housing Benefit will continue to be paid for two weeks after a Universal Credit claim. Low-income households in areas where private rents have been rising fastest will receive an extra £280 on average in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.”

The full budget announcement is on here

There is also a supporting document here on the main budget page of which gives details about some other UC changes. It is well worth having a look at. One point it contains that I’m sure landlords will be interested in, is that the government intends “making it easier for claimants to continue having their housing costs paid directly to landlords once they are on Universal Credit”

If and when more detail becomes available on this – we will of course update you.



Urgently needed

If you are a landlord looking for a tenant and have any of these available:

  • A property suitable for a 6 person family.
  • A property suitable for a 8 person family.
  • A property suitable for a 10 person family.

Anywhere in Sandwell – we need to hear from your urgently. We might have your next tenant.

Please email Liz Mooney at:


Consultation on our opening hours

Consultation on our opening hours

We are currently considering changing our opening hours for the Revenues and Benefits service at our Kings Square West Bromwich site and the Cashiers Service at Smethwick Council House.

We are inviting people’s views on this issue – if you would like to submit comments – please go to where you will find an online questionnaire.

Questionnaires should be submitted before 11th December 2017.


Don’t miss this … Sandwell Private Sector Housing on TV.

The Housing enforcers

Everyday next week – Sandwell’s finest will be on your TV screens.

Officers Christina Bartholomew, Neal Cooper, Richard Hawkins and Neena Varma from Sandwell Council’s Housing Quality Team will feature on the BBC One show every day next week alongside presenter Matt Allwright tackling poor quality housing, overcrowding and crime alongside West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service within Sandwell.

If you miss it – episodes will then be available to stream for 30 days on BBC iPlayer.